S2:E12: Brett Trembly from GetStaffedUp

On today’s episode, Seth and Jay are joined by Brett Trembly, co-owner of GetStaffedUp and business law attorney in Miami, to discuss how cultural differences impact fit in law firms and his experiences outsourcing legal work. Brett talks about how he started GetStaffedUp and his experience hiring, training and onboarding virtual assistants. Seth and Jay ask Brett about how he manages his virtual assistants from all over the world and the types of tasks that he outsources. Brett explains how he handles internet outages and issues that may disrupt virtual assistant productivity. Seth, Jay and Brett talk about how cultural differences play various roles in outsourcing legal work and how training translates to success.

What’s In This Episode?

  • Why you need to have an SSL certificate?
  • Challenges of starting a law firm from the ground up vs. building from scratch.
  • Which tasks have been the most successful in parallel peel-off?
  • How do you handle the infrastructure needs of a law firm with your staffers?
  • What areas do law firms have the most success with their people?
  • How to replace your right-hand person with an overseas person?
  • How do you know if someone is going to show up for work tomorrow?
  • What are your thoughts on the future of six-month certifications?
  • The importance of having a systemic approach to things.

Speaker 1

Welcome to the podcast edition of Maximum Growth Live. The number one program for lawyers who want to grow their practices. Each week, our hosts Seth Price and Jay Ruane tackled the fundamental questions about how to grow the profit and profitability of your law firm. To watch the program live, submit your questions and hear the latest episode, tune in every Thursday at 3pm Eastern on Facebook for our live show. Maximum Growth Live is a production of Maximum Lawyer Media.

Jay Ruane

Hello, hello, and welcome to another edition of Maximum Growth Live. We are back on a Thursday, it is live, we are Maximum Growth Live. My name is Jay Ruane, I’m one of the hosts, I am the CEO of Firm Flex, your Social Media Marketing Agency for lawyers, as well as managing partner of Ruane Attorneys, a criminal offense and civil rights firm in Connecticut. And with me, as always, but I’m not sure which way to point because we’re recording via zoom, so I’m just gonna go like this and say, my man, Seth Price, is joining me today and he is back a little further north, no longer in the jungles of Florida. Seth is the Founder and Managing Partner of Price Benowitz, your DC, Maryland, Virginia, and if you saw our show on Tuesday, you saw he was sitting with his South Carolina partner, as well as BluShark Digital, your SEO for law firms agency. Seth, how was the drive?

Seth Price

It was good, you know, I used to dread family road trips, and this, you know, it was very empowering to see a lot of good people along the way, had brunch with Sarah, and got to see gain in South Carolina, and even, you know, buddies who are competitors in the digital space, David in Greenville. So it was great to see all these different people in a, you know, socially distance visiting in the warm because a little bit easier than in the cold.

Jay Ruane

So, it’s interesting, you know, Seth, I can only imagine you being the most networks person I’ve ever met that, as you’re driving this drive north and you pass an exit, you get to a gas station and you happen to know the guy who’s pumping the gas or you get to the Chick-fil-A in one town and you happen to know the girl who’s working the drive thru window that must drive your family crazy.

Seth Price

That’s the one thing I learned, yes it does, but the one thing that I did see in our neighborhood is that Chick-fil-A is not beloved, you know, we’re inside the beltway solidly blue. Many people refer to hate their chicken, delicious hated chicken, but hate chicken. And then we got to Florida, and I thought they were COVID testing centers or vaccine lines, I had never seen lines this long for anything in my life. And now, I get why some of the towns actually brought the Chick-fil-A managers in to try to, in Florida they do drive-ups for the vaccines, and people stay in their cars, and they actually brought the managers in because they know how to move a line. It was remarkable.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, it’s interesting, you know, back in, I guess, March, April when COVID first hit and everything was on lockdown. We would take a 45-minute drive to Chick-fil-A once a week as a family just to get out of the house, you know because we weren’t going anywhere because we knew their drive-thru would be managed properly and everything would be legit. But I will tell you this, I love their chicken sandwich, don’t get me wrong, but you need to try the Shake Shack chicken sandwich because while I am a chick fan, Chick-fil-A fan, the Shake Shack version of the sandwich blows it away.

Seth Price

Well, I appreciate Danny Meyer’s knows what he’s doing but I, sadly, the one thing that did not do well during our three months in a week sojourn was weight, so we are back to it, I did a diet shake this morning, and we are going to try to drop 10 to 15 pounds over the next couple of weeks.

Jay Ruane

Well, what you need to do is get on that peloton that you have there and join the hashtag Max Law writing group, so, folks, if you’re out there and you do have a peloton, make sure you join the peloton group that Maximum Lawyer has put together, of course, we are syndicated on the Maximum Lawyer as part of the Maximum Lawyer media family. You can always catch our show, our Tuesday show is only able to be caught here live on Facebook, but our Thursday show is syndicated through the Maximum Lawyer media family on the Maximum Lawyer podcast as well as our own standalone podcast. So, you can definitely catch that and you can go back on any of our have prior episodes and rewatch or re-listen to anything on those platforms.

Seth Price

Point of clarification, you can still listen to the show as audio.

Jay Ruane

Oh, absolutely.

Seth Price

You’re right. That was one thing that, that it is safe. I’ll just conclude before we get Brett to come in, I’m really excited to have Brett come, is the fact that we now have a law firm growth clubhouse club. So, I’ve started two clubs, one which will mirror what we talked about here with, with law firm growth, law firm growth club, and the second being the SEO insider, which mirrors my other podcast talking about, you know, real geeked out things. And I know there’s one topic you want to bring in, SEO wise over the next couple of weeks.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, you know, it was something that I picked up on. Somebody sent me a link. My brother had LightSwitch, he sent me a link, and he said, you know, I want to do a deep dive over all of your websites because, as of May, Google has decided to say that certain core web vitals are going to become ranking signals. Now, just that phrase, core web vitals become ranking signals, got me a little nervous because that’s a lot of gobbledygook as far as…

Seth Price

We’ll do an entire show on Jay. But, you know, it’s generally, if you’re executing your fundamentals, you’re going to be fine, like, this is stuff that basically they’re saying, there are things that before there were best practices, good user experience, they’re saying, hey, and they usually, you know, they tell you, it’s coming, it’s coming, but they want to say if you’re not keeping your eye on the ball with that, it would be problematic. But for most people, and we’ll go over in greater detail, bring Brett on and go through in greater detail what that means, but, you know, it is, it shouldn’t, if anybody is doing things correctly, this should not be a big jarring change or anything that you need to do.

Jay Ruane

Well, I guess the thing that concerns me is that your load time is going to become an issue, and I know it always has been to some extent, but now, I guess Google is talking about labeling sites saying this website has a good user experience in the results page, and so, you know, just like we see with the local service ads that Google screen checkmark is getting people to follow. They are sort of, you know, here’s how you navigate our site to find the answer that you need, you know, a little checkmark, saying, this website, web page gives you a good user experience, could be something that separates you from other people, it could be more traffic.

Seth Price

Just like the security, right? When it went to HTTPS, and I still see people, you know, a friend’s nonprofit, she said, she asked for a donation to the dentist, send her some money, and said, you know, you might want to pay the 20 bucks, I’m happy to cover it, and, you know, it’s that little thing that, you know, it’s amazing how many lawyers out there haven’t added that certificate for 20 bucks, and it says your site is not secure. You sure you want to go to? It, I mean, it’s, so I think what Google’s saying is, we need to push people in that direction. We don’t want somebody having horrible load times, you know, and that I’d say is actually going to be the most challenging piece of this because it’s, you know, as a living breathing site, it’s always changing and stuff that you could do, today Ruane attorneys could be poppin fast, and, you know, and over the next few days, some stuff happens. So, it will mean keeping your eye on maintenance, and I love that Bretton on to, you know, give a deeper dive into what what it means technically.

Jay Ruane

I love that, I love that because I think it’s, it’s something that we got to cover, because it’s going to be hitting people hard, and yeah, I can’t imagine having a website in 2021 and not having an SSL certificate. I mean, I can remember, you know, 10 years ago first installing them, and it was a hassle to put them in years ago. Now, It’s a couple of clicks and you’re done. But yeah, I’ve been on websites recently for law firms that don’t have SSL certificates, and you’re just thinking, boy, that turns potential clients off pretty freakin quickly when they say this website might not be good for you in your browser. Okay, so we’ve got a great guest today, and why don’t you tell us a little bit about who’s coming on the show? Because we’ve been doing a lot of different areas, but we want to circle back around. So, tell them about Brett.

Seth Price

So, Brett Trembly, great guy, he has a firm down in Miami area, pretty much a B2B firm that he scaled nicely. And he and a partner have really launched and developed over the last three years, Get Staffed Up, which has been a recruiting staffing company. The people are full-time, overseas employees and a lot of people like yourself have leveraged them. I was lucky enough to break bread with him a couple of weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale, and really fascinated by, you know, their learning curve, what they’re seeing, and how they have built a really successful business. So, let’s, let’s get him out here.

Jay Ruane

All right, folks. So, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna take a quick break, you’ll hear from our sponsors, and when we get back, we’re gonna have Brett Trembly of Get Staffed Up with us. Hang on. We’ll be right back, folks.

Speaker 1

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Speaker 2

In this world today, if you want to grow your business, you want to grow your firm, you want to take on more cases and make a better impact, you have to have a digital blueprint. Statistically, throughout the time that we’ve been working with BluShark Digital, our law firm the Atlanta divorce law group grew over 14,100%.

Jay Ruane

Seth and his team have years of experience in this area. BluShark is truly a part of the firm, so I don’t consider BluShark any different than the employees in my office.

Seth Price

Brett, great to have you here. It was great to be able to break bread in Fort Lauderdale a few weeks ago. Get Staffed Up sort of taking legal space by storm. Thanks, thanks for being here.

Brett Trembly

Seth, Jay, thanks for having me. I’m very excited to be here with you guys.

Seth Price

So, what inspired Get Staffed Up? And we’ve been talking about this for weeks, but you’ve been at this for years as far as, you know, how to leverage overseas labor for lawyers.

Brett Trembly

So, I wish I could say it was totally my idea, and it came from the fact that when I was a brand new, not attorney, but I had just started my law firm, I was too afraid to hire because it was so expensive and I was afraid of failure and all those things, but it was really my business partners idea. He found out about the fact that he could maybe go find some people in the Philippines at lunch, a lunch he almost skipped, and we were really good friends, and we had spent, he’s an attorney, we had spent a lot of time reading the same books and having monthly masterminds, getting on the same page, you know, not intending to do business together but, so, he has our real estate title firm. And he came back with four people from the Philippines and one from Mexico at the end of 2017, and I’m like, dude, give me a marketing person, that sounds great. So he did, and I went to a conference and I was telling people how great this was, and I made his first two sales for him, and so, this was January 2018, and when I got back, he said, why don’t we do this business together? And I said, great, where do I sign on? And we spent our first six months working on our infrastructure, investing in the software, you know, recruiting our own people. And really, we didn’t start even trying to make sales until the summer 2018, like June or July. So, we’re still under three years, and, but we got our ducks in a row and a lot of boots on the ground and things lined up so that, you know, we didn’t crash and burn ourselves because we were both running other businesses at that time. I’m still very heavily involved in my law firm, and he though has sold his law firm and he’s full time in Get Staffed Up. And hey, look hearing you say we’re taking the legal world by storm, that’s nice to hear. I don’t know if that’s necessary, you know, true, but we are growing and I think we’re doing a lot of good things. It’s a lot of fun.

Seth Price

You know, one of the things that we’ve talked back and forth here is there are certain pieces that seem easier to put together when people are starting firms from the ground up. If somebody is a new firm and said, hey, I’m building it out from here, you know, for people, Jay and myself and, sort of legacy shops with employees in place. Have you seen different challenges for people trying to retrofit an older firm rather than build a new firm from scratch leveraging overseas labor?

Brett Trembly

Yeah, so Jay and I were just talking about fit, right? It’s got to be the right fit for the firm. So, if you there’s pros and cons like with everything. If you’re in a new outfit, you need an assistant to do all kinds of things for you. So, you just need, like, a body, you need help, but you’re not going to have the experience of onboarding, so it’s kind of like it’s going to be harder for you to know well, what do I give them and what do I do? There’s a lot more uncertainty there. Whereas more a legacy firm or a bigger firm they’ll have more defined roles, right? Which means is maybe a harder fit but they’ll have many more systems for onboarding and training, and making sure that it is a good fit, and knowing a lot sooner if it’s not a good fit, you know, because that’s important. I mean, you can get someone in, domestically or internationally, that you think is great, and, you know, checks all the boxes, and then a few weeks in your gut kind of tells you this is not the right person.

Seth Price

You know, one of the things that we tried several years back, and I think Jay, it was maybe Jay recommendation, we worked with an Indian outfit for some of the accounting back-end, processing the checks and, you know, sort of just basic, basic accounting work, and it crashed, it was awful, they crashed and burned, and the staff, based on that, has resisted anything like this. Again, are there any things that you see that, you know, one of the things we’re talking about at dinner was, what types of tasks have you seen most successful with law firms, you know, working with, with people within your world? And which ones have sort of, like, you know, might take more, more onboarding, more training than most people are willing to give? Like, what leads to success versus not within the law firm environment? Like, which areas have you seen the most success?

Brett Trembly

Let me, let me just push back on something real quick, Seth. I talked about this phenomenon a lot but in the context of, like, the one guy who’s got basically his own law firm and no help for 30 years is like, well, I tried hiring one time, and it didn’t work, so, it doesn’t work for me. Is it like he’s different, and he didn’t work it out, but it’s like a badge of honor in some weird way like nobody’s good enough to work for them? It would be like trying to play tennis and stuff, but I know you mentioned tennis recently, you hit a server, it goes out and you’re like, this doesn’t work for me, and you never try again. It’s the same thing with hiring, you may hire someone, and then they don’t work out. Well, you got to get back on the horse and the whole like, well, we tried. And I hate to pigeonhole, like here in the US, we live in a bubble, right? It’s like people from India, are different, not only from people in other countries, but from people in their neighboring cities. I mean, you talked about billions of people, it’s like, you know, there’s people in India traditionally had been trained, at least in the outsource context, again, there’s talking about a lot of people but to be very good at programming right behind the scenes, people in the Philippines we found and we were really away from the Philippines, 90% of our people now come from Latin America, because we wanted to, we wanted to not only differentiate ourselves, because most staffing companies and you hear about the Philippines, but what we’ve learned is that they’re trained and educated in the Philippines to be very good task takers, like, do this, these three things and don’t deviate, and they’re like, I wouldn’t deviate because I don’t want to deviate, like I’m not going to use any of my own creativity or, or my own initiative. Whereas in, I guess, you know, like Mexico, Central South America, it’s a lot more similar to our culture. So, we’re finding people who can be on the phone, can do intake, marketing and, and they’re not going to get in your head and just run with things, but they’re going to be able to use some of their own initiative, like you would find here in the US where you’re training someone, but you’re like, I gave you a job to do the job, not to ask me how to do every little thing, right?

Seth Price

And that’s, and I’ve seen that, they mean, I, again, we have technical people in India, you know, task people in the Philippines, and I appreciate that, the thought of intake out of Latin America, probably where there’s a little bit more thought to what’s going on versus, you know, following a strict regimen, but what, so, what’s your advice to somebody if they’re thinking about which tasks to experimental parallel peel off first? Is it, is intake one that you’ve seen more success? Is it sort of administrative support for paralegals? What are the ones that have been sort of the most successful, the most quickly? Or is that not something that’s easy to answer, that depends on the firm and how well they train and staff.

Brett Trembly

Oh, no, no, we can answer that. I just wanted to kind of push back on like, well, we tried it once, and it didn’t work.

Seth Price

No, no, no, I was saying that for myself. I’m talking about, for me, that was, my staff was pushing back because, you know, this wasn’t just a single person, this was an entire organization and they had 12 people try it, nobody actually was successfully able to get a quality control that we could use. Put that aside for a second, that’s my own mantra, guys. And a very fair point that just because, you know, I’m playing tennis and, you know, it’s taken me four years to get a forehand, you know, you know, that doesn’t happen overnight. I wish I could outsource that. But, you know, what talks about which areas have been the most successful for people, starting with you, and which ones have been the most challenging that have taken longer for people to integrate to their firms?

Brett Trembly

So, the most successful is we categorize what we call staffers or VAs in three categories. We did clerical, which is just order takers, task fillers back in, you know, scanner file here haven’t gone, you know, overseas post-closing, that’s, that’s still out of the Philippines. The second group we call our administrative virtual assistants, that is a broad range of people who can do interactive client-facing tasks, it could be pure reception, could be intake, right? Setting a consultation, I still wouldn’t advise like, that’s your person who’s closing the deals, maybe like a mill, like bankruptcy or something, but personal assistant, executive assistant, legal assistance, you know, new thing kind of sweeping the industry client happiness liaisons or coordinators, those are the, that’s the really the sweet spot. And then the other one is marketing assistance, so, remember, Assistant, not director, not chief marketing officer, this is not someone who’s gonna be like, sure, you know, I live in a different country, but I know exactly what the legal market in the US, like, let me just take over all your marketing, that is not we’re talking about, we’re talking about, you know, probably the three of us, we’ve got 100 new ideas before we eat breakfast every morning, but when you don’t have someone to delegate those ideas to try them out, they just kind of buildup, right? They clogged mental space, or headspace, or you write them down and you never get to them. That is an amazing opportunity to have someone who’s low cost, you know, highly efficient for, you know, marketing is not really efficient, right? Because half of marketing still never works, but I should say highly competent, who can try out all those ideas and see what works and what doesn’t work.

Seth Price

So, Jay is a little upset because he has 100 ideas himself before breakfast. Jay, what do you got?

Jay Ruane

I just, my mind just never stops, that’s just the way I am, and it’s frustrating because I do have ideas, and I go back through my book, and I say, I should have tried that six months ago, and I still haven’t gotten to it yet. So, maybe that’s something that I should do, but I want to ask you some questions about the technical stuff because I think some people in our audience might have concerns about it. How do you, you know, handle, you know, the infrastructure needs of a law firm with your staffers, right? Because, you know, the internet access in other countries and in other places may not be as reliable as it is here. The IT, you know, you don’t have them at your next desk, so they have a problem with software, there’s going to be a problem. How has Get Staffed Up dealt with that? And how do you guarantee that you know, oh, you know, the power went out in my village for the next three days, and now, you’ve lost that productivity of somebody who’s supposed to now be an important part of your team? What do you guys do to help people avoid those problems if they bring somebody on from your organization?

Brett Trembly

Yeah. All right, that’s a multi-faceted question, so let me see if I can answer all those things at once. So, voice systems work very well. If your phone is answered anywhere in the world, you hit hold, you know, pound one, two, and it’ll pop over to me here in the US, and you in, like, the same amount of time as if they are next door. One, two, the internet is very good in a lot of places, and it’s not so good in some places, so, before we hire somebody to work for Get Staffed Up, and just to be clear, like there are legal employees, right? And it’s essentially, we’re leasing them out to you full-time, 40 hours a week. So, they have to have a good computer, and we do the spec tests, and we get, we do internet test, the test so we make sure that their internet is good enough. Is it perfect? Well, I mean, here in Miami, like Comcast went down half the day yesterday, and all things do happen, of course, just like they do anywhere. Sometimes we run into like, we find somebody really good, but their internet is unreliable, and we got to let them go, it just doesn’t work for us and it doesn’t work for the client. Does that happen? Sure, it can happen. The other thing you ask is, you know, what if it goes down in the village? We had, there was a huge flood in Honduras and some of our staffers were down for a week. I guess that’s really no different than having a hurricane in Miami, which we get every two years, right? Do you not pay your people? Do you fire them? Or do you just say, hey, it’s part of it, at least, at least through us, we’re able to say, all right, well, there have been down like several days or a week, we will basically prorate that, so you don’t at least have to pay form, but we don’t have, you know, like replacements? We don’t have an army of people who are just like let me step in and do just as good as this person because that doesn’t exist, right? This is, you can’t clone people. That person has institutional knowledge and works for you, so sometimes life is going to happen. What we’ve done though, really, you know, to protect us is we’ve spread our hustle if you will, all over the world. We’ve got people in nine countries, so, there’s a massive earthquake, well, at least, you know, a small percentage of our clients may be down for a while, but not all of them. Now, for the small percentage of people, our clients that it does affect, we got to work through that, you know, just like any other business has to handle.

Seth Price

Which countries do you like most? In which ones have you had problems with?

Brett Trembly

Which countries do we like most? I don’t know if there’s, I don’t know if there’s a most like, we…

Seth Price

Well, just generally the top few.

Brett Trembly

What, just, yes, we started in the Philippines, like I said, and then we quickly moved to Mexico, and we did really well, and we expanded to Central America, we found some amazing people there. Now, we’re in Colombia and Argentina finding really good people. And we, we still have the conversation sometimes, says, well, what about what about their English? You know, I need someone to answer the phones, I’m worried about the accent. My clients are, I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but they’re older and they may be offended by someone’s like, okay, you know, I’m not really touching them, but we’ve now moved to South Africa too so we have English as a primary language, that worked for us, and they have a South African accent, I think that’s cool, and maybe you’re interested there. So, it’s not one country so much as it is, there’s amazing people and all parts of the world, just like the US and there’s, you know, terrible people in all parts.

Seth Price

Let me ask you a question with like, within India, because I have people in Chandigarh doing technical work, and I can’t understand a word they’re saying. And yet there are people in Mumbai that have sorted the British education. Have you found that there are different regions within countries that have?

Brett Trembly

Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’re not in India for that reason. We’ve had people approach us out of India and want to partner with us, because they do get trained on the, on the British legal system there, and so, you know, there’s, there’s some opportunities, but you know, the language is still an issue, i mean, without, without disparaging anyone, it just the fact that you can’t understand someone, you can’t communicate.

Seth Price

I shouldn’t have been so flippant there. I mean, these are brilliant people that do good work for us, but they couldn’t be client facing.

Brett Trembly

Right, exactly. I mean, that’s, that’s just, that’s a fact, and neither could we for their clients.

Seth Price

It’s not good or bad.

Brett Trembly

Right, it’s not good or bad, it just is what it is. But in different parts of countries, you’ve got like educated pockets, right? There’s really good universities and better education, and better infrastructure, frankly.

Seth Price

Gotcha. Jay, I had a couple sort of theories, you want to go first? And I have a couple…

Jay Ruane

Yeah, I have a question about what firms seem to have the most success? You know, and I’ll talk a little bit about my own experience with Get Staffed Up because I have it, right? And we found that bringing some of your staffers into our intake team, which was highly regimented, had systems, preexisting systems in place, had a clear workflow, and that type of thing, was the easiest way for us to get out sourced help into our, into our workflow, right? But we haven’t taken the leap in bringing somebody in at a higher level yet to do legal admin work or to do marketing work and that type of thing. What areas do you think you see, law firms, specifically law firms, having the most success with your people? Is it, is it, we’re growing, our intake really seems to be where people flourish early on because that’s a that’s very easy to systemize? Or is it that personal admin to get this for me, get, you know, make my dinner reservation, call this client and set up a phone consultation? Is it the personal assistants that a single or solo, or small firm lawyer needs? You know, what, where do you find the best success? What kind of feedback are you getting from the firms that say this is really working for us and we want to do more of it?

Brett Trembly

I wish I could give you one of the other day, but it’s really both, like, we’ve got a firm that has almost 20 of our VAs, and they went purely virtual, they created an intake University and they spend so much time on training that they’ve been successful in every position that they’ve hired from us. Now, is it just like they got their first 20 and they weren’t good? No, they’ve had to cycle through a few people just, just like we all do, right? When we’re hiring, but I’ll tell you one, it’s surprising. I’m surprised that more people don’t have marketing virtual assistants, in general, or through us like I had a girl here in Miami and I still am friends with her, I still love her like she was, she was great, but I was paying her almost $60,000, right? Plus, plus, plus, and, like my fault, I could never really justify the cost, I couldn’t see the return, especially at two or three times return and it was always stressful. And then when I got somebody who, you know, there was outsource, well, I could just throw things out, and if it took a little longer it was fine, because it was a low-cost effort, right? fail fast and fail cheap, and just having that person to, to delegate. So, I, you know, my books finally getting done like I’m getting all these things done that I would have never gotten done, and nothing in marketing happens as fast as we would like. It’s almost like if I say do it by then it’s probably going to take twice as long, but I am surprised that that one hasn’t been like, I think that one should be selling like hotcakes, but it hasn’t. It’s the middle tier for us, the administrative virtual assistants or people have been successful, everything you just said we’ve had a lot of successful, you know, staffers fit those roles, and it really goes back to the training and the onboarding of the business. Is this either a mature law firm that has systems for training, or is it an entrepreneur-minded lawyer who’s going to take the time to make sure that that hire is successful? Because we all have made hires and gotten too busy to really put in the time to train them, right? And then it’s like, yeah, four weeks later, like you know, I gotta do one, yeah.

Seth Price

Does that compound summon Jay and I were talking about and some, some viewers or listeners of our show and podcast, have sort of said, well, somebody who says, well, I’m having economic issues, so I’m going to try to save money by replacing somebody from the US with an overseas person as like a main admin. And I think, Jay, you’ve gotten some sort of, you’ve seen some, you know, that, that, that does not usually a recipe for success, that it’s not it, there are things that can be done, but if you think that you’re going to be able to take your right hand person and just say, well, they happen to be in another country, or you know, is that something that you’re, that you sort of have, had people come back to you and say, we thought this was like a panacea that we could just spend less versus, as you’ve already indicated, a lot of data points you’ve given us, things may take longer, training may take longer, sensibilities may not be there. Not that there’s not 1000 different ways to use it well, but that is not a, you know, a flip a switch and you can substitute somebody from one country to another for less. Is that, what’s your, what’s your take on that?

Brett Trembly

I may give like a new a nuanced answer here. I have an attorney Law Firm, we have our office manager, right? In, in, I mean, in no way, shape or form what I ever tried to replace her with somebody overseas or not, not here locally, that’s not a position, that’s a much higher-level position. Now, my quote unquote, right hand personal executive assistant? Yes. My know everything about the firm and handles things for me, you know, a big mess, you know, really, like, run the firm when I’m not there be that kind of right-hand man? No, I wouldn’t do that. And we also are not the, but again, if you’re starting from scratch, and it just you and you build the whole thing that way, I think it is possible, right? Like we have, we have a few people that gets backed up, that work for us internally to have a team now. I think we just passed 40, and our highest-level people are all overseas, right? We’re 100% a virtual company ourselves, and because they now bear with us three years, I wouldn’t replace them with somebody here in the US for the same reason.

Seth Price

So, some of it is just time and getting comfortable, use and figuring out, you don’t know what you don’t know going in. You guys are now learning three years in, what’s working, what’s not.

Brett Trembly

Exactly, but in terms of the replacement, that I don’t recommend, I do not recommend, well, let me just, let me just replace this high-level person. And we’re not, we’re not a hey, fire everyone in the US type of company, we are a, you’re not hiring where you need to be, you’ve got holes in the bucket, because you’re just not getting there, you’re not doing marketing, you’re not doing a good job responding to your clients, your people are wearing too many hats. I keep waiting until I’m in a business where everyone’s wearing one hat and it’s gonna not happen, and as you guys know, but, you know, adding some manpower, adding the wherewithal to help your firm do all the things it’s not getting to with some lower cost labor, that should help kickstart the machine and then you’ll be able to hire more people here in the US. So, I think it’s a very good mix of both.

Seth Price

Hey, I got a final topic. So, why don’t you throw it in first?

Jay Ruane

I got two questions for you. First one being, how do you, number one, let’s talk about this. You’ve developed a country, you, you’ve developed a business, built a business with a lot of people being remote. And one of the hazards and one of the trepidations, I guess a lot of people have, is creating a firm culture when people aren’t sitting next to each other. How does Get Staffed Up deal with that sort of business culture? Take it away from the law firms, but just from a business perspective of a person who runs a business with your own happiness person being in Honduras. How do you develop a company culture with so many remote people in so many different places?

Brett Trembly

Yeah, this is a great topic. My, Enrique, my co-founder and I were talking the other day about how amazing it is that our leadership team cares so much about our business. Like they not, they’ve all been with us now for over two years, but, man, they take things personally, and they fight, you know, like you’re a team player would for the right things. We use a system called traction, and I know you guys have heard of it, right? So, we’ve got our meeting rhythms, and we have morning, huddles, so every morning, everyone get that FaceTime and gets to start the day the right way, and create that energy, and I’m meeting with all the teams once per week. Plus, we have a leadership team, level 10 meeting, and we do fun stuff. Our holiday party forgets that up, of course, it was all virtual, but we made a video and we played it, and I’ve never seen people laugh so hard. You know, we interviewed everyone and pretended, you know, I asked normal questions, and then I dubbed in fake questions, and then we played virtual games, or you can play a ton of games now in breakout rooms and fun stuff, and we had like memes we’ve done a lot of stuff to, to really…

Seth Price

But it’s not intuitive, took effort and thought to put that together. It’s a new normal, and that the same guy who’s gonna just put people in a room and add some alcohol can’t do that anymore, you really need to find, and again, we had to do it domestically with these virtual ones, we did a comedian thanks to Michael McCready, but you know, a bunch of other sort of fun, you know, but it’s again, it is a you, if you’re to, try to get people around the world with different sensibilities to all have fun that, that got to be daunting.

Brett Trembly

Right, but we were drinking during these events, right? So, Nietzsche, and, but also, you know, what, another really good? I don’t know, I guess it’s good. It’s mine so, you know, it’s kind of like patting myself on the back, but if you have, like Slack channels, or WhatsApp channels and sub channels for each team, so we post memes, like, when we make a sale, we post a meme when somebody has a start date, we post a meme, you know, it’ll say like, Jay Ruane, and, you know, third staffer, and everyone’s like cheering and high fiving those things, you know, if you focus on them, and you’re excited about them and people buying, you can create a very good…

Seth Price

And that’s something I even see domestically with our team. That’s, that’s both pre-virtual and now virtual, that people can throw memes out there, back and forth. It just adds an energy to the emails that people are really, you know, that what used to be the congratulatory email is now a series of people wanting up, one up in the memes.

Jay Ruane

Yeah. Okay, before I turn it over to Seth to wrap this up, I have one other reservation that I had coming in. It’s been soft for me, but I want to talk a little bit about it because a lot of people in our shoes might say, you know, it’s great having the opportunity to bring somebody in that’s overseas, outsource, whatever you want to call it, but how do I know they’re going to show up for work tomorrow? Like, how do you deal with, you know, staff or any virtual assistant just ghosting on you and having, you know, logins and passwords, and that type of thing? Because that’s something that I think a lot of lawyers being conservative, they tend to get nervous about things that the normal person wouldn’t, but it’s something that people are concerned about, so, let’s talk about it, right? And get that out in the open. How does a company like Get Staffed Up or any other deal with the whole, boy, that person just dropped off the planet? We don’t know where they are type of thing.

Brett Trembly

Yeah. Have you? Have you guys ever hired someone here in the US and they dropped off the face of the earth just like ghosted you?

Seth Price

Yeah, once. Yeah.

Jay Ruane

Not, not really. I mean, what happened to them? But…

Brett Trembly

So, I’ll tell you this. And I used to say it’s the same as here in the US, because I’ve had that happen to me, people show up for the first day of work and then they never come back. It does happen, right? We’ve had people get hired, and we sign all the paperwork, and they had their interview, and we had a match, and we had that.

Seth Price

And that’s not the fear because that happens in the US when somebody, early on, isn’t the issue. The question is, does somebody, I think I’m gonna speak for Jay, but it’s when somebody’s already in, they have your whole systems in place, they have your passwords, they have client information, and then they just turn off, has that, has that been an issue?

Brett Trembly

Sure, but the second part of Jays question which is, basically, whatever you’re doing to protect your, your law firm here in the US, which is you should have administrative capacity to shut off someone’s email, to shut up their access to Clio rocket Mater, right? When you fire someone, you should have a whole checklist of all the things that you do to protect the information, remove their Dropbox access, etc. The same things, just like we say, treat your virtual assistants as part of your culture and include them in everything. It’s the same with confidentiality, It’s the same with Access, It’s the same with secrecy. It is, basically, there’s no different and if you think about because the Coronavirus pushed our business forward, like 10 years, I mean, there’s no way around that timing, you know, I mean, like talking about great timing, but you’ve got to just think about all of my team, for example, all of our attorneys are still remote. If we had someone go rogue or our paralegals, we got to shut them off and cut everything, and it’s really, it’s really the same.

Jay Ruane

I’m gonna ask Jays follow up, which is do they, do people generally give two weeks’ notice? Or is there, is that part of the culture? Or is that, you know, somebody can make a buck somewhere else that they’re going to take off at some point without notice?

Brett Trembly

We, a lot of people give two weeks’ notice, and a lot of, we’ve frankly, had people say after like two weeks, well, I had this like internship and it finally came through, and we’re like, why didn’t you tell us that? You know, I mean, it’s when you get into staffing, and you’re dealing with huge numbers of people, well, the percentages are going to play out. So, if you’ve got 5% of your people, you know, doing that to you, now it’s a lot of people than if it was just one out of 10, right? Or five out of 100. So, it does happen, the percentages are very low, but we think it’s more of, you know, we’ve had to buy our clients because they were rather abusive to, to their virtual assistants, and we’re building a company like, we are not going to tolerate that, you know, we’re going to try to handle it the right way, but sometimes we think it’s an excuse because they just don’t want to work with that lawyer. Because, let’s face it, right? We’re all competing for the best talent, I want to have better attorneys, I want to have better paralegals, I want to have better staff, people happier, more productive than the law firm, that’s a competitor downtown, or I mean, like across town or across the street, or whatever. It’s this, it’s the same with, you know, I, and I try to do things in my firm, and we try to do things against that to be a better employer. And so, we’re trying to recruit great people, and I just think that, you know, people kind of miss that, like, we’re not entitled to great people. We need to be the type of leaders and bosses that people want to work for, the great people want to do that.

Seth Price

Sure, I want to just conclude with something we talked about over dinner, which could be a whole nother episode, and maybe this will be the tease for it, but to me, one of the things that I think is that, you know, you’ve done a very nice job of sort of like, you have the recruitment, and you now have enough best practices to know what, more likely to work than not, and that’s awesome. But the thing that I think the world is screaming for, that nobody has figured out, is some sort of certification that would get people prepped and ready to go, rather than here’s labor and they have these skills, whether it be intake, whether it be paralegals in PI, family criminal, not that they’re going to be able to know what goes on in your firm, but Google’s been talking a lot about six months certifications over college. What are your thoughts on the future of that? I know that you know, people are talking about it, I haven’t seen a lot of action out here. What are your thoughts about that being the future?

Brett Trembly

Yeah, so training and boot camps, we’ve developed some of that, and we’re constantly talking about how to get better, but how to do it the right way? Because if we put someone through a three-day boot camp…

Seth Price

I’m not talking three days; I’m talking like real training.

Brett Trembly

Real training six months. So, I’ve hired people that have six months of paralegal certification in the US that didn’t know anything, right?

Seth Price

We don’t hire people from paralegal schools, like that’s a red flag. At the same time, If it was Brett’s bootcamp or Jay’s bootcamp, I’d be much more likely to have, you know, the likelihood of success would go up tremendously.

Brett Trembly

I think the risk that we run there is, while you train them, so they should know everything in like six months, or paralegal, or it’s so short, you know like you need years and years as a paralegal. So, we’ve talked about a lot of different things. If we ever see that paralegal conundrum, then we really will take the legal world by railroad.

Seth Price

And then you’ll, Daniel, take us by jet to the to, the island off site, there won’t be a virtual off-site. I want you to, when you come back, I want to talk a little bit because I think that that’s one of those, you know, we talked about huge ideas. Right now, you’ve done a really smart thing, you know, people’s full-time versus part-time, industry specific love it, but I just, I know that there’s a demand out there, and again, it’s not going to be the same as somebody going to four years of school and then working in a law firm for five years, but there’s got to be some way to cut the learning curve down and give the best chance for success. So, we hope to see you or somebody else with that sooner rather than later.

Brett Trembly

Yeah.

Seth Price

Well, thank you so much, Brett, this has been tremendous, and I look forward to seeing what you guys do in the next three years.

Brett Trembly

Seth, Jay, I’m honored you guys have me on, thank you so much.

Jay Ruane

This, this has really been great. I want to thank you. So, folks, we’re gonna take a short break and when we come back, we’ll have a wrap-up at the end of this edition of maximum growth live. We’ll be right back.

BluShark Digital

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Jay Ruane

Well, Seth, that was phenomenal. I mean, you know me, I’m a customer, so I’m happy with their product. We had some bumps early on, but we are learning what it takes to bring somebody in from overseas, and it’s really working out well for us, and it was great meeting Brett. What were your takeaways?

Seth Price

No, I mean, look, I love what they’re doing. I have sort of, you know, as you know, a lot of stuff that was good to sort of add when you hear somebody speak in sort of resonates. We’ve been using India for certain things, Philippines for certain things historically, and it was good to know that somebody who’s made a more of a science of it, you know, I keep hitting my head against the wall trying to do certain things at India, that probably, you know, I have, you know, 80 people overseas, I should sort of say, okay, they are doing this, well, don’t put round peg square hole, and I think that they have pivoted nicely to sort of say, yeah, we could get things, argue who mentioned this, but cheaper in the Philippines, but we like the skill set that we’re getting out of Latin America. And so, the idea that you no longer just have the US but the entire world to pull, to pull from for, for laborers is just fascinating, exciting, like a game of chess, figuring out what makes the most sense where, like to spend a couple of minutes over the next few weeks, we have some pretty cool guests lined up and, you know, in no particular order, you know, Sheela Murthy, who has scaled one of the more fascinating law firms, she’s leveraged technology earlier than just about anybody else to create an international immigration firm. She was featured in New York Times a number of years ago, really fascinating. She looks at herself as a technology company, not a law firm, so I think that’s going to talk about systems and somebody who was ahead of her time on that just wrote a book that she’ll be talking about, we have Verne Harnish, who is one of my idols, I mean, he’s the person wrote scaling up and mastering the Rockefeller habits, you know, things like Strategic Coach were spun out of his world, you know, so and he’s the sort of the real deal. So, if you haven’t heard him, he has a treat.

Jay Ruane

Yo, that’s gonna be a great show. I’ve already started doing some research for it, and getting my questions, reading a couple books again, you know, for like, the third or fourth time, just so I can be ready to go. And what’s really interesting, and I just think it’s as we head into the end of the show, it’s interesting that when we talked to Brett, he brought up traction because that’s something that you hear over and over again, in these circles, because it’s a system, right? It’s the EOS is a system for building and growing any type of business, but specifically, it can be applied to a law firm, and I think that’s phenomenal that people are taking a systemic approach to things because, you know, me and my love for systems. In fact, I’d invite anybody who’s on the show to join our Systemising your law firm for growth Facebook group because it’s available. Just join our group, we talk about systems, we share systems. So, just search up on Facebook Systemising your law firm for growth, and join our Facebook group where we talk all about systems.

Seth Price

Right, and ironically, I believe we’ll have to check with it. I believe that ELS may have actually come spawn out of Verne’s world as well, another legacy of this guy is pretty amazing. And then finally, David Britton, who’s going to come in and talk about some of the Google changes that are coming up, but one of the things that, he’s the president of BluShark, and he’s done an amazing job from intern to President, but one of the things that I’m always impressed with is that when I pick up a book like Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up, which he had not read and he’s already implementing many of the things that are in there, it demonstrates that this is not, you know, somebody who’s like coming out with this idea that you need to do, you suddenly, if you haven’t read the book, you could. It’s basically systematizing and putting what are best practices in the world into one place. So, hopefully all three of these things come together nicely over the next three weeks.

Jay Ruane

Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. It’s just, it’s sort of like our March sweeps, right? We’re getting all the great talent on, because we got the conference coming and we want to be able to set our rate card, which is a whole lot of zeros, but, you know, for those of you who absolutely background in TV, you know exactly what I’m talking about. March usually sweeps that’s why all the special guest shows are on the shows this month. But, folks, I want to thank you so much for joining with us as always. Please like, subscribe, follow our Facebook page so that you’re notified every time we go live. We go live on Tuesdays and on Thursdays so there’s plenty of content out there for you to gain, of course, you can also subscribe to our podcast, the maximum growth live podcast, as well as subscribe to the maximum alert podcast which syndicates our show. Please, come join us every week, we love having you, we love getting your questions and we’d like to address those as much as we can. So, he is Seth Price of BluShark Digital, your SEO firm for lawyers, as well as managing partner of Price Benowitz, your DC, Maryland, Virginia law firm. I am Jay Ruane of getfirmflex.com. Please, if you have any questions about social media reach out to either one of us on digital marketing. We’re happy to help you through this process. Shoot us a DM, send us a message, tag us in a post, we will be there for you. And in the meantime, be well, be safe. Get your shot, and we’ll see you next Tuesday on another edition of maximum growth live. Bye for now.

BluShark Digital

Thank you for listening to maximum growth live. Please remember to subscribe to our podcast for the latest episodes and tune in live on Facebook every Thursday for our live show. For more information visit maximum growth live on Facebook, or maximumlawyer.com And be sure to share us with your friends.

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